How VALORANT’s new 2023 map pool will alter the pick/ban meta of the world’s best teams

New choices to make during pick/ban phases of VCT 2023.

Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games

A huge shift in the VALORANT meta is coming in January 2023 when the map rotation is changed yet again. With the arrival of Patch 6.0, both Breeze and Bind will be removed while Split is being restored, with potentially a new map joining it.

One of the most important factors in team success in VALORANT, especially at the highest professional level, is map mastery. Having a deep map pool is critical to avoid going into every pick-and-ban phase with a disadvantage.

As we get ready to say goodbye to Breeze and Bind (but not forever), let’s look at the top pro teams that found the most success and struggle on these maps, and who could thrive with the return of Split. The info below is based on map pick rates and win/loss percentages from VLR.gg.

Which VALORANT teams will be most affected by the return of Split?

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With Split being removed during the 2022 VCT season, there’s not as much data to go off of, and Split will likely be played very differently after the new changes are added.

The 100 Thieves camp is likely rejoicing at the news of Split’s return. For 100T, Split was tied for first for most played map and best map win rate, with a 14-6 record in 2022. Split was the site of several thrilling overtime victories and comebacks for 100T, and their newest addition in Cryocells thrived on Split as well while he was with XSET (15-3 in 2022 and some masterful Chamber performances).

100T VALORANT players Stellar and Asuna in disbelief.
Image via 100 Thieves

Almost all of the top teams won most of their Split games in 2022, but teams like ZETA Division, LOUD, and Paper Rex might have an advantage in 2023. They were some of the only teams that actually performed better on attack than defense, on what was previously a very defense-sided map. If changes to Split make the map more balanced, then these teams could have a leg up on those typically so reliant on strong defensive sides there.

Which VALORANT teams will be most affected by the removal of Breeze?

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Looking at the top teams from around the world that are keeping their cores intact between 2022 and 2023, one team stands alone when it comes to how much they could be hurt by the loss of Breeze: DRX.

The kings of Korea posted an outstanding 16-3 record on Breeze in 2022, a map they played the second most out of any map, just behind their top choice in Ascent (22-3). Their only three losses on Breeze in the year were against two of the most dominant teams in the world in OpTic and LOUD, although those came in pivotal playoff matches at international events. But when DRX won on Breeze, it was always due to splendid top-of-the-scoreboard Viper performances from their world-class controller in MaKo.

Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games

Speaking of OpTic, the former core now with NRG might be happy to see Breeze go, after going 5-5 in 2022. It was their least-played map of the year and was almost never picked by the top NA team. The team were forced to play it five times during Champions but only won once against DRX. Several other top teams like Fnatic, ZETA Division, and Paper Rex hardly played Breeze as well.

Which VALORANT teams will be most affected by the removal of Bind?

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The OpTic core now with NRG might not miss Breeze much, but they will certainly miss Bind. While playing for OpTic, the team posted a 16-4 record (highest win rate of any map) on their second-most picked map of 2022, and it was the site of their highest defensive round win rate of any map with an impressive 64 percent. It’s worth noting that both the top performers from OpTic on Bind were yay and Marved, who are now both gone, but with the same strats, IGL, and coach, NRG easily could have picked up where they left off before the map rotation changes.

Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games

Yay’s new team in Cloud9, though, are likely very happy to see Bind go. C9 were 2-4 on Bind in 2022, and it was their least-picked map other than Split or Pearl. It was also certainly their most banned map of the year. The team’s in-game leader, longtime Bind hater vanity, said after the map rotation changes were announced that it “might be the best day of my life.”

Most top teams didn’t pick Bind a lot, but most of them still posted a positive record. While Bind was the second least picked map for both Fnatic and LOUD, they still put up solid 11-3 and 9-2 records on it, respectively.